Health

Doctors working on a clinical trial for treatment of heart disease held back key data, Newsnight has been told.

The Excel trial tested whether stents were as effective as open heart surgery at treating patients with a heart problem called left main disease.

The data suggested more people fitted with stents were dying after three years.

It was eventually published – but only after treatment guidelines that partly relied on the trial had been written.

These guidelines recommend both stents and heart surgery for certain patients with left main disease.

Trial authors defend standards

The authors of the trial said it was carried out rigorously and to accepted academic standards.

In the trial, sponsored by US stent manufacturer Abbott, half the patients were given stents, the other half had open heart surgery.

Not all the patients were recruited at the same time. Some were recruited in 2011, others over the years that followed.

So, when the first results were published in 2016, the doctors doing the trial knew there was data about what had happened to some of the patients five years after their stent or heart surgery procedure.

But they chose to look only at what happened up to three years after the patients' procedures and publish that data.

Health

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Ming on Tuesday defended the countrys response to the novel coronavirus and advised other countries to react in an “objective and cool-headed way.”

It is unfair to conclude the Chinese government is not transparent,” Zhang told reporters at a briefing in Brussels.

He stressed that Beijing informed the World Health Organization and the international community of the new virus as soon as it was identified. And he chastized countries like the United States that have implemented travel or trade restrictions with his country.

“Such restrictions would aid panic and disrupt the containment efforts,” said Zhang. Most countries, including most EU member countries, have followed the WHOs advice, but “unfortunately, some developed countries which have advanced capabilities have taken the lead on adopting excessive restrictions on China to the contrary of WHO recommendations.”

“It is our hope that the relevant countries can look at the epidemic and Chinas response in an objective and cool-headed way,” he said.

Italy and the Czech Republic are the only EU members to have stopped flights to and from China, although Zhang did not name them.

When asked about

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Politics

President Donald Trump pardoned Edward DeBartolo Jr., former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, a team in the NFL, the White House announced on Tuesday.

DeBartolo Jr., 73, bought the professional football team in 1977 and served as the teams chief executive officer. The 49ers went on to win five Super Bowls in the 1980s and DeBartolo Jr. was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

The owner gained a reputation as a “players owner” who “created a first-class atmosphere and infused the roster with talent,” the Hall of Fame, based in Ohio, said on its website.

The team averaged 13 wins per season from 1981 to 1998 and appeared in the playoffs in 16 seasons, making the NFC championship 10 times. “Aside from his role with the team, DeBartolo Jr.was highly respected inside NFL circles and served on the leagues realignment and expansion committees,” the Hall of Fame stated.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
Edward DeBartolo, Jr. (3rd R), former San Francisco 49ers Owner, is seen with his bronze bust alongside former San Francisco 49ers, Charles Haley (L), Steve Young (2nd L), Ronnie Lott (3rd L), Jerry Rice (2nd R) and Joe Montana (R) during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 6, 2016. ( Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

DeBartolo Jr. pleaded guilty to failure to report that Louisianas former governor extorted $400,000 from him in return for a casino license. DeBartolo was fined $1 million and suspended for a year. He gave the team over to his sister and never returned as the teams owner.

The White House announced Bartolos pardon to reporters on Tuesday morning. Among the people present was Jerry Rice, a former NFL star who credited DeBartolo Jr. with giving him the opportunity to play football with the 49ers.

“It was all about family. Thats really what they stood for. And thats the reason why I think we won so many championships,” Rice, a former wide receiver, told reporters.

“Eddie was like that 12th man that was on that football field. You know that this guy, you know, he wanted us to win. And I think hes the main reason why we won so many Super Bowls. So today is a great day for him,” Rice said.

“Im glad to be here and be a part of that. And, you know, its just something Ill never forget. You know, this man, he has done so much in the community, he has done so much in NFL football.”

Rice said Trump told him the pardon was about DeBartolo Jr. and his accomplishments.

The Epoch Times

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Politics

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will appear on the debate stage for the first time this week after a new poll helped him hit the qualifying requirements.

Candidates this cycle previously had to have a certain percentage in multiple polls as well as a certain number of donors, but the Democratic National Committee axed the donor requirement last month, paving the way for Bloomberg, an ascending candidate, to make the stage.

Bloomberg hit 19 percent in a new poll released on Tuesday, the fourth poll showing the 77-year-old at 10 percent or above. The new poll, conducted by Marist, NPR, and PBS NewsHour, was released on the same day as the deadline to qualify for the next debate, which is in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Bloomberg has been notably absent from debates in recent months. The billionaire is self-financing his campaign and has spent hundreds of millions since announcing his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in late November 2019.

Bloomberg has chosen an atypical route to the nomination, ignoring the four early voting states and focusing on states that will vote on Super Tuesday, or March 3, including California, Colorado, Texas, and Virginia.

With former Vice President Joe Biden, 77, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) struggling to earn delegates in the two contests that are over, Bloomberg is viewed by some as a serious force that could swoop in and earn the nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks during a campaign event at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Feb. 12, 2020. (Doug Strickland/Reuters)
Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg
Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg in Des Moines, Iowa, and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in Sioux City, Iowa, on Jan. 26, 2020. (AP Photo)

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 38, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 78, both did well in Iowa and New Hampshire and lead the field in delegates. Buttigieg has 23 and Sanders has 21. Warren has eight, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), 59, has seven, and Biden has six.

Bloomberg has been attacked by some rivals in recent weeks. “The simple truth is that Mayor Bloomberg, with all his money, will not create the kind of excitement and energy we need to have the voter turnout we must have to defeat Donald Trump,” Sanders told a Democratic Party gala over the weekend. Rivals often focus on the amount of money Bloomberg is pouring into the race.

The rule change made on Jan. 31 appeared to only benefit Bloomberg, who donated to the committee before announcing his candidacy. The change

The Epoch Times

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Politics

President Barack Obama asked the FBI to investigate a person following a request from billionaire financier George Soros, according to constitutional expert and lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

Dershowitz made the claim in a Feb. 16 interview with Breitbart News, when discussing the constitutional authority of a president to control the Justice Department.

“President Obama personally asked the FBI to investigate somebody on behalf of George Soros, who was a close ally of his,” he said.

Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor emeritus, said he was “not prepared to disclose” the information he possessed on the matter, but noted its “going to come out in a lawsuit in the near future.”

“I have in my possession the actual 302 form which documents this issue,” he said, referring to an FBI form that summarizes an interview conducted by the bureau. “And it will, at the right time, come out. But Im not free to disclose it now because its a case thats not yet been filed.”

Obamas office and Soross Open Society Foundations didnt respond to requests by The Epoch Times for comment. The FBI declined to comment.

Could but Shouldnt

Dershowitz made his comments in relation to President Donald Trumps recent comments on Twitter criticizing the sentencing of his former campaign associate Roger Stone.

“Weve seen this kind of White House influence on the Justice Department virtually in every Justice Department,” Dershowitz commented.

“The difference is, this president is much more overt about it. He tweets about it. President Obama whispered about it.”

While he criticized such an influence, he also said it isnt unconstitutional.

“Lets be very clear about the constitutionality. The president could make a decision to really control the Justice Department. He could decide who to prosecute, who not to prosecute. He shouldnt do it. It hasnt been done since Thomas Jefferson.”

The alleged request from Soros “is not unusual,” he said.

“People whisper to presidents all the time. Presidents whisper to [the] Justice Department all the time. Its very common. Its wrong, whoever does it, but its common, and we shouldnt think that its unique to any particular president.”

Dershowitz was a defense lawyer for Trump in the recent impeachment trial, in which the president was acquitted of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.

The Stone Case

Stone was convicted of lying to and obstructing Congress and witness tampering. Prosecutors recommended 7 to 9 years in prison for him, in large part based on their claim that he threatened a witness, which calls for a higher penalty in the Justice Departments sentencing guidelines.

The defense argued that Stones comments to his longtime associate Randy Credico were made as a joke.

“Stones indecorous conversations with Randy Credico were many things, but here, in the circumstances of this nearly 20-year relationship between eccentric men, where crude language was the norm, prepare to die [expletive] and conversations of similar ilk, were not threats of physical harm, serious acts used as a means of intimidation, or the more serious forms of obstruction contemplated by the Guidelines,” his lawyers wrote in Stones sentencing memorandum (

The Epoch Times

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Politics

President Donald Trump and Turkeys president Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on Feb. 15 just days after United States and Syrian government forces clashed in northeastern Syria, where Turkeys government is conducting an operation to resettle thousands of Syrian refugees.

Trump discussed the conflicts in the region on Saturday as he called for Russia to put an end to its support for the “atrocities” of the Syrian regime.

In their conversation, Trump and his counterpart “expressed concern over the violence in Idlib, Syria,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere told reporters on Sunday. He also thanked Erdogan for Turkeys efforts to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, Deere continued.

“President Trump conveyed the United States desire to see an end to Russias support for the Assad regimes atrocities and for a political resolution to the Syrian conflict. President Trump also reiterated that continued foreign interference in Libya would only serve to worsen the situation.

In a statement, the Turkish presidency said the two leaders agreed by phone that Syrian government forces attacks in the northwestern province, which killed 13 Turkish troops, were unacceptable. The pair also exchanged views on an immediate halt to fighting in the region.

It comes after Erdogan last week said that Turkeys military will strike Syrian government forces by air or ground anywhere in Syria if another Turkish soldier is hurt.

Erdogan said Turkey is determined to push Syrian government forces beyond Turkish observation posts in the northwestern Idlib region by the end of February, and he warned allied Syrian rebels not to give government forces an excuse to attack.

Violence has flared in the province, just south of Turkeys border, in recent weeks as government forces backed by Russia and Iran have made gains in their Read More – Source

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Sports

Simone Biles was named Sportswoman of the Year for the third time after winning five gold medals at the gymnastics world championships in Stuttgart last year. Hamilton won his sixth Formula One world championship last year, while Messi, who was not present at the awards ceremony, won his sixth Ballon d'Or.It was the first time in the history of the awards, often seen as the Oscars of sport, that the Sportsman of the Year title has been shared."I grew up in a sport that has really given my life meaning," said Hamilton. "I'm so, so grateful for what it has provided me. But I've actually grown up in a sport that has very little to no diversity. "I think it's an issue that we're continually facing. It's all of our responsibility to use our platform for that, just that, really pushing for gender equality, gender inclusivity and really making sure that we're engaging and really trying to represent where the world is today."Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, videos and featuresThe W Series — an all-female motorsport championship — was launched last year and won by British driver Jamie Chadwick.Just six women have ever participated in an F1 Grand Prix weekend. More recently, Colombian driver Tatiana Calderon has been a leading figure in women's motorsport having been retained as a test driver for Alfa Romeo and raced in the Formula 2 championship.Hamilton is the third driver to win the Sportsman of the Year award after Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, while Messi is the first footballer.America's Biles will be one of the standout athletes to watch at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics after winning four golds and a bronze at Rio 2016."It means the world to me," said 22-yRead More – Source

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Sports

As the MotoE World Cup prepares for its sophomore season, Livia Cevolini, CEO of the series' motorcycle manufacturer Energica, believes technology and shifting public opinion mean zero emissions racing is ready to go mainstream."Finally, we're able to commit to each other," the 41-year-old Italian told CNN. "Motorsport is a big part of our everyday life, and environmental technologies have to be the same. So, it's good to see that we're able to commit to each other and collect attention from new people."READ: How a remote desert is powering the electric vehicle revolution

'Fan favorites'

Cevolini founded Energica in 2014, aged just 36, in her home town of Modena, Italy's motor racing heartland.The company counts the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and fellow two-wheeled manufacturer Ducati as neighbors, and its racing heritage runs deep.While she studied engineering, Cevolini interned with the Ferrari F1 team. Giancarlo Minardi, founder of the Minardi F1 team — which he eventually sold to Red Bull — is a company director. Energica's engineering pedigree also takes in the space industry, as well as motorcycle racing — CTO Giampiero Testoni worked with both the Fantic MotoGP team and CRP Racing.Cevolini accepts that some bike purists may remain reluctant to accept MotoE, but sees it as a natural progression for racing."Electric bike racing has to face the obstacles that any change in racing brought in terms of acceptance and recognition," she told CNN."We have seen it many times in motorcycle racing already, with the changes from two-stroke to four-stroke engines (500cc to MotoGP) and with the introduction of Moto3 and Moto2 categories. "All of these have emerged through time as fan-favorites, and MotoE will do just the same."READ: 'Your body is the limit to how fast, not the car'Cevolini sits on one of her company's Energica motorcycles.The technical challenges for the development of the category are already falling away, she believes. "In our first year we were able to match the Moto3 times on more than one occasion — which is an incredible achievement," she said. "So more than obstacles, I see potential in the near future."MotoE has proven its worth as a series already, Cevolini believes: "The motorcycles are all the same, so there are big battles. They're having a lot of fun, both the riders and the public." She added: "People are changing quickly their minds. So even if we think that it's slow, it's not so slow. It's going fast."READ: Fire destroys entire fleet of electric bikes ahead of championshipREAD: Phoenix from the flames — MotoE takes to the circuit just months after fire An Energica electric motorcycle.

Musk comparison

The fledgling race series has helped sales of Energica's road bikes, the company says. Energica is expecting 2019 revenues of about $3.5 million, which would represent 50 percent growth on 2018. Its order backlog for 2020 is already equal to 40 percent of its entire 2019 revenue, it claims."We are a relatively small and young company with a clear identity and a great mission," Cevolini says. "We are already seeing the benefits on our involvement in MotoE in terms of visibility and technology developed on track."Growth, she believes, will be organic. "We are pioneering electric motorcycling in an organic way," she says. "So, in five years I see Energica as a well-established institution with a global reach, and a brand that is recognized as a history-making manufacturer in electric motorcycling."The comparisons to Tesla founder Musk are flattering, Cevolini smiles. "It is obviously an honor to be associated to Elon Musk, someone who has changed the game and revolutionized the car industry," she says. "We want to lead by example as much as he did, but also do it our own way: car and motorcycle industries have some things in common, but also many differences."READ: Shark-fin styling for new Formula E car

Ferrari hero

She does however, have a male role model from closer to home."Being from Modena, and the fact that Energica dug its roots in the Italian motoRead More – Source

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Sports

BLOEMFONTEIN (South Africa) • Olympics and world 400m record-holder Wayde van Niekerk, whose recovery from a knee injury has been slower than expected, won his first race this year in Bloemfontein on Monday night.

The South African finished first in a 100m race on grass in a hand-timed 10.20sec at an unofficial university meet.

Van Niekerk came though the race unscathed as he eyes the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and a chance to defend his 400m title.

He smashed the Games and world records of 43.18sec, set by American Michael Johnson in 1999, when he clocked 43.03sec at Rio four years ago.

"It is good to be back running and I am satisfied with my time. Thanks again to everyone who has assisted in my recovery," van Niekerk said.

The 27-year-old damaged his knee in October 2017 while playing in a celebrity touch rugby match in Cape Town that preceded a Test between South Africa and New Zealand.

His rehabilitation since has included medical treatment in the United States, Qatar and South Africa.

The injury also prevented him seeking a third consecutive world title in Doha last year after triumphs in Beijing in 2015 and London two years later.

Speaking in Berlin at the weekend ahead of the Laureus awards ceremony, Johnson said it would be "very difficult" for van Niekerk to successfully defend his Olympic title.

"An athlete who misses two seasons through an injury usually takes one season to get back into shape," said the retired four-time Games gold medallist.

Sports

Swimmer Yip Pin Xiu will prepare for her Paralympic title defence with a familiar face in her corner, as her former coach Mick Massey has joined the 28-year-old's team alongside her current coach Mark Chay.

The Briton will work with Yip and Chay in his new role as the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC)'s performance director.

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